China’s exports to the EU dropped by nine per cent in October 2022. China’s exports of many upstream and midstream products, such as base metals, ceramics and glass, textiles, and plastics and rubber, to the EU have plunged amid the latter’s muted downstream production this winter.
One exception is the export of gas-intensive chemicals, in particular, fertilisers, which continues to surge. The EU’s demand for mineral fuels, food and beverage and some winter necessities stayed resilient, with its imports of mineral fuels from China soaring by 218 per cent in October.
Softening global demand for computer, communication and consumer electronics products has dimmed the export outlook for China’s machinery and electrical and electronic products, which account for 57 per cent of its overall exports. Growth in exports of renewable energy equipment has also slowed from earlier months. Near-term exports of digital products may be hampered by the latest Omicron outbreaks in China that have resulted in operational disruptions in some production hubs, including Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, since late October. In contrast, electric vehicles and batteries remain the bright spots in China’s export outlook.
The US and the EU are China’s largest export destinations, accounting for 16 per cent and 15 per cent of its overall export value.